Walking Festival - 23, 26 and 28 October, 2016
For the first time, we entered three walks in Norfolk County Council’s
Walking Festival. For the first two, we were walking from Thuxton to
Dereham. A survey beforehand of our routes revealed one point where the
path was flooded (albeit not to too great a depth), so we went out to
cut back the hedge to allow people to walk safely past.
As it turned out, the water level dropped anyway by the following day,
so it created no problem. A second location (the notorious underpass
beneath the A47 in Dereham) was also flooded, but was just passable on
the first occasion, and on the second was being dealt with by engineers
from Highways England.
All three of our walks went well. On both Sunday 23 and Wednesday 26
October, about 20 people met at Dereham station to enjoy a drink
included in the £5 ticket fee before taking the Mid-Norfolk
Railway heritage diesel railcar from Dereham out to Thuxton.
From Thuxton, we took a 7 mile route back to Dereham, planned to avoid
walking on or along roads as far as possible.
For some, the train ride was the high point, while for others it was
passing through Wyvern Farm: we are grateful to Mick & Sarah Austin
for ensuring that their very interesting livestock (alpacas and donkeys)
were kept clear of the path while we walked through.
On Friday 28 October, a smaller group of us had a more traditional walk,
going from Dereham, past the Neatherd to Etling Green, then Northall
Green and out towards Hoe to sample the Wensum Way, returning via Quebec
Wood and Rush Meadow.
On all three days, the weather was kind to us, with quite a lot of sun
on Sunday, rather less on Wednesday and Friday. As the Walking Festival
had been part funded through the government, participants were asked to
fill in some questionnaires: we were interested in the post walk one,
which asked about how everyone had found the experience. We were very
pleased to find the feedback was very positive - we saw 31 forms from
the 46 walkers, and all said they had enjoyed it, with 17 saying it had
increased their desire to walk. Most comments regarding what had been
enjoyable were about the scenery and variety of the walk (16 comments)
and the social aspects of the walk (13 comments). And when asked what
could be better, there were 15 replies, 11 of which said ‘nothing’ (or
an equivalent), and 2 of the others were about the weather. We have
invited everyone who took part to let us know their email addresses so
we can keep them informed about future walks and other activities: if
you aren’t on this list but would like to be, just let us know at
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